Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

07/03/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Last month the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism drove the penultimate nail into the coffin of Koach, its college-programming branch, by announcing it would end the program unless supporters raised $130,000 by the end of the year. With such a blatant reluctance to internally sustain Koach, and the near impossibility of supporters raising such a sum, the USCJ message is clear: we are no longer able to support our college students.

06/26/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion
It seems that every significant study of the Jewish people is released while we read from the Book of Numbers, the book that derives its English name from the first official census of the Jewish people. It’s as if counting the Jewish people is imbedded in our DNA. That census, conducted 3,000-plus years ago, however, was much more limited in scope: Only men age 20 and older who are able to go to war (Numbers 1:3) were to be counted. From the Torah’s census of 603,550 Israelites of age for war, scholars estimate that the total population was in the 2.5 million range. 
06/26/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion
In 1945, my grandfather was listed as “Mr. A. — a specimen Orthodox Jew” in Milton Steinberg’s book “A Partisan Guide to the Jewish Problem.” The interview with him is summarized in these words: “The misgiving that haunts him most persistently is over his children. … His great fear is that they will depart from the way he walks, either repudiating his postulates or rebelling against the hardship he gladly endures, or simply refusing to be different from almost everyone else. Against such eventualities he is putting up a game fight.
06/19/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

At a memorial session at the Israeli Knesset honoring the Lubavitcher Rebbe shortly after his death, Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau recalled a conversation he had once had with him in which Rabbi Lau spoke of his active involvement in kiruv rechokim, bringing back to Judaism lost Jews who had strayed far away. “The Rebbe immediately corrected me: ‘We cannot label anyone as being ‘far.”  Who are we to determine who is far and who is near? They are all close to Hashem” [God]

06/19/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

We are living in a time when 20th-century Jewish institutions are being challenged by the forces of the 21st century. A speaker at the recent Jewish Futures conference invoked the metaphor of the “brick hitting the cloud.” Participants were implored to smash idols — 20th-century institutions — in the name of reinventing Jewish community. Of course smashing these idols involves dissolution of the “establishment,” including federations.

06/13/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Forty years ago, athletes from countries around the world were completing their training, attending good luck send-offs, and packing their gear to depart for the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich.